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Seamless Bay Area

Joint Venture in 2022 formed a strategic partnership with Seamless Bay Area, a project designed to transform the Bay Area’s fragmented public transit into a unified and equitable system. Founded in 2018 as a transit rider-driven grassroots group, the project is committed to building a diverse movement for change through policy reforms. Joint Venture aligned with Seamless Bay Area to advocate for the passage of SB 917 as a bill co-sponsor and to raise awareness of the benefits of a world-class transit system.

What are we doing?

Imagine an integrated San Francisco Bay Area transit network, where customers come first and are no longer confronted by a frustrating mess of uncoordinated fares and schedules. Seamless Bay Area seeks to transform the region into a unified and equitable system through policy reforms such as with the passage of SB 917.

SB 917 shall require the 27 independent transit agencies operating in the nine-county Bay Area to work together to develop and adopt a Coordinated Network Plan (CNP) by the end of 2023. The CNP would identify desired service levels and frequencies and target travel times that can optimize connectivity across the region. The CNP would eventually support the creation of a unified regional bus rapid transit (BRT) system.

An integrated fare structure mandated by SB 917— to be developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in consultation with Bay Area transit agencies — would make transit rates fairer, simpler, and more equitable.

The bill sets deadlines for a common transit wayfinding and mapping system, and for real-time data standards to ensure bus and train arrival information is universally available and accurate for riders across the region.

Why are we doing it?

Currently, independent transit agencies do not formally coordinate schedules and service. They also use different fare structures, wayfinding signs, mapping, and branding systems that confuse and intimidate riders.

This project will help transform the system into a seamless experience for the public, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving access to jobs and housing.

Who's involved?

SB917 was introduced in February 2022 by California state Senator Josh Becker, D-San Mateo.

Assemblymember Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, is a principal coauthor of SB 917. Other coauthors include Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, Assemblymember Alex Lee, D-San Jose, and Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, and Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

What are the latest developments?

  • SB 917 was passed unanimously by the Senate Transportation Committee on April 26, and goes next to Senate Appropriations May 19, and then onward to the Senate floor.
  • So far, the MTC, AC Transit Board, and BART boards each voted to adopt “Support if Amended” positions on the bill, with proposed amendments.
  • Joint Venture co-hosted a webinar on Seamless Transit. Watch the video.

What are the next steps?

  • The most pressing next step is the passage of SB 917, co-sponsored by Joint Venture, which would require transit agencies in the Bay Area to work together to improve coordination and integration, effective July 1, 2024.
  • SB 917 was passed unanimously by the Senate Transportation Committee on April 26, and goes next to Senate Appropriations, and then to the Senate floor.

Where do I find out more?

Learn more about Seamless Bay Area at www.seamlessbayarea.org.
Contact Ian Griffiths, Policy Director at .

Mobility

Joint Venture is actively involved in addressing the transportation challenges facing our region by creating partnerships among communities to work on mobility issues across multiple jurisdictions. Projects include bike share programs, walkability options, improved transit, traffic signal coordination and other “smart” approaches to travel on the major arterials, across all modes.